Every now and again various architects produce some mind blowing architecture. Architecture that us skateboarders can go and make the most of. Whether it be outside a local shop or a square. For example Manchester has Urbis, a skate spot that has been skated for a huge number of years now and the spot can be related to our city. Philadelphia City has Love Park, different to our Urbis that is known widely around the UK. Love Park is an international skate spot that pretty much every skateboarder will have heard of. You know it’s made it onto the skateboard map when Wikipedia have a section when searching Love Park called, Skateboarding In Love Park. Although sadly, the Love Park days have come to an end as it has been closed for construction, for the third time trying to keep our creativeness away from the most perfect spot in skateboarding.
The locals such as Ricky Oyola, Anthony Pappalardo, Stevie Williams and Josh Kalis were really the ones that made this perfect spot famous around the world. Especially when Dan Wolfe starting to document the spot filming various skateboarders tearing it apart like Bam Magera, Tim O’connor, Fred Gall… The list goes on and on, trust me. When people who were located outside of Philadelphia heard about this spot, they made the journey from all over to see what all the hype was about. This obviously increased the popularity, meaning it was never seen without several skaters making the most of the marble on offer. It wasn’t just the marble that was made use of, the infamous massive fountain gap that has seen some shocking tricks go down was a highlight. The various kickers over bins, manuel pads, marble ledge after ledge, drop down ledge and the most famous 3 sets to grace this world. Lets just say it had it all.
I mean Love Park in international skateboarding culture, led to Philadelphia being chosen to host the 2001 and 2002 X-games. Viewed by 150 million people in over 18 countries and attracting nearly a half million spectators during the two year stay. But then it was still illegal to skate there after everything it had done for not only skateboarders but the city itself, madness. I can’t begin to explain how annoyed the locals must be as I’m getting annoyed and I’m sat at a computer in Manchester. And unfortunately have never had an opportunity to skate there. We can all relate to a local spot that you’ve skated from an early age being knocked down or skate stopped though, it’s heart breaking. To show some love back to one of the best spots and most influential places skateboarding has ever seen here’s some parts/videos where Love Park has been featured. Enjoy people as I doubt you’ll be seeing anymore new footage from this place in the future…
Anthony Pappalardo, stolen from his part in Habitats, Mosaic. If you haven’t already seen this section anyway then what are you doing, it’s a classic!!
Josh Kalis in Photosynthesis. One of the Love Park regulars showing everyone how it’s done.
Stevie Williams in the DC Video. Now this was a part that shocked the world. Stevie a Love Park local, with a pop bigger than the park itself, legendary.
Ricky Oyola 411 #10 (1995), note the switch wallie at 1:37 that’s lurking in one of the longest and most stylish lines to grace Love Park.
This clip of Ishod is the best video to actually comprehend how big the Love Park fountain gap actually is. It’s huge and if Thrasher’s recent skater of the year struggled, you can imagine it’s not your average gap.
Fred Gall was a familiar face that used Love Park to its advantage. Plus he’s a pal of The Black Sheep’s so we couldn’t leave this dude out!
To finish on it had to be none other than the Love Park documentary by ‘ON video’ that came out in the early 2000’s. The first skateboard documentary I ever saw and to be honest I haven’t seen a better one since. Maybe because the amount of skating Love Park has seen is phenomenal, or maybe because the people and the history this place has produced is just spectacular. Love Park will always be a huge part of skateboarding and it has contributed so much to skateboarding.
Another skate spot bites the dust… LOVE PARK WILL BE MISSED!